How’s your posture looking these days? Are you often hunched or slouched over your computer? Although many people may not pay mind to its importance, good posture is more than just about looking prim, proper, and pretty. It’s about keeping the spine in balance, and preventing any potential, future pain or health issues which may arise from not doing so. Want to know more about the importance of good posture? Check out these 10 benefits to having good posture.
First, let’s talk about what having good posture means. Practicing good posture involves standing, walking, sitting, and lying down in a way that causes the least strain on the body. One of the best visuals in regards to correct posture that I’ve heard a few times while taking belly dance is to imagine that your head is being pulled straight up by a string. Keep your chest lifted slightly, while drawing in the abdominals. The shoulders should be down and back with your chin not too far in and not too far out. Pressure should be distributed equally on the balls of your feet, as well as your hips. One trick you can try is sitting or standing up straight with your chin slightly lifted. Clasp both hands behind your back, and keeping your spine in this neutral position, unclasp the hands, and place them at your sides. And now, let’s discuss the benefits of doing this.
1. Prevent Pain
One of the best and most well-known benefits of exercising good posture is reducing the risk of having back, neck, jaw, and other types of pain throughout the body. According to WebMD, when you keep the body in good posture, it can help resolve strain to the body. One of the major causes of back pain is not properly aligning our bodies when we sit or stand.
2. Improve Energy Efficiency
Feeling fatigued? Try fixing your posture, and you’ll probably get an energy boost. A published article form the Kansas City Chiropractic Foundation states that a person who has poor posture may often be tired, unable to work efficiently, or unable to move properly.
3. Improve Blood Circulation
Ever notice how the blood seems to rush through your body when you stand up or sitting up straight after hours of sitting at a desk for long period at a time? Poor posture has been said to fatigue the muscles and compress the blood vessels responsible for supplying the muscles with blood. Good posture gets the blood flowing and moving smoothly.
4. Boost Self-Image
Good posture makes us look good. You can find this out for yourself by conducting a little self-experiment. Take a picture of yourself slouching, and then take a picture of yourself with good posture. Compare them and you won’t deny that good posture gives you a much better self-image. Sitting up straight can make you look both taller and slimmer.
5. Enhance Positive Feelings
It is very rare to see someone with good posture lacking in confidence. Want to feel better? Posture up, and you may notice your happiness enhance. In an article published in the journal Biofeedback, a Professor of Health Education named Erik Peper mentions that taking the time to change the body posture to a more upright position can improve mood and energy levels.
6. Encourage Better Breathing
There’s a reason why yoga focuses so much on posture when practicing any kind of breathing exercises. Good posture will open up the chest cavity and lungs, assisting you to breathe properly.
7. Improve Concentration
Practicing good posture is said to lead to better breathing, which allows more oxygen to reach the brain.
8. Improve Balance
Balance means having better control over our bodies as well as the way we move. It can often keep us from falling or becoming injured. If you want good balance, you need good posture.
9. Use Muscles Properly
The muscles around the spine, vertebrae, neck, and tailbone have been known to take a real beating whenever we slouch or hunch over. Poor posture has been said to overstress and exert muscle groups, leading to muscle tightness.
10. Prevent Bone Wear
Want to help prevent bone wear and osteoarthritis? According to an article from Health Central good posture has been known to reduce the risk of wearing down the bones as well as osteoarthritis. Constant bad posture may place abnormal stresses on the body. The stress can make it harder for the muscles to relieve joint pressure, and thus, your joints can suffer the consequences.
So, with all these benefits in mind, you may want to start doing quick posture checks regularly. Building and strengthening the core muscles—such as the deep abdominal muscles and the muscles closest to the spine—can help you have better posture. Some great suggestions for improving your posture are yoga, Pilates, dancing, and increasing the flexibility of your muscles.